Urban Engine has been bought by Google. What is Urban Engine? Urban Engine is a provider of location-based analytics for urban planning and will help Google Maps better understand how the world moves.
How Can Google Maps Help Your Business?
Google Maps helps people searching for local businesses with local searches, e.g “plumber in X”, “restaurant in X”, though it is much more competitive now, as Google Maps only displays the top 3 businesses on Page 1. You can find more businesses by clicking the “more” button.
Being in the Google Maps 3 pack at the top of many search results is the holy grail of online exposure for a local business online. So how is Urban Engine going to help your business? By helping people get around traffic jams and find the fastest most efficient combination of public and private transport to get to you?
Google Wants To Totally Dominate The Local Space
This makes your mobile phone a highly competitive GPS for your car. If you’re going somewhere and you use a Google search to work out the fastest way to get there Google has you covered. Which in turn, means Google can track people more and has more opportunity to advertise. That puts Google in even control when it comes to local!
How To Rank in Google Maps & Improve Local SEO
Ranking in Google Maps is essential for any local business, especially for those local businesses wanting customers from the internet (or not wanting to lose customers on the internet), ranking on Google for local search terms and on Google Maps is vital.
Here are a few tips on how to improve your Google Maps rankings:
- Google Maps rankings are still based largely on “citations”…the sites where a business’s name, physical address and contact details appear -NAP -Name, Address, Phone
- Get the business name, address and phone number listed on a pile of local sites, authority sites and pages related to the industry the business is in. Press releases on high authority trusted sites, like you get with PressCable.com, can help you with this (and as it’s a little-known strategy it gives you a solid advantage – also great for SEO – Blue Square Management also offer a Press Release service at a much less cost!)
- Be sure the contact details are EXACTLY the same in every listing, as well as matching your website This is vitally important.
- Get authority site links back to the local business site in a natural Google-safe way (quality online press releases help with this too).
- Encourage people to search for the specific local business, and drive traffic to the site in other ways, as this gives a strong signal to Google that the site is important (and yes Google can track all of this very well).
- Put a lot of targeted, high quality unique content on the local business site related to what they sell and information that’s valuable to their prospects and customers.
- Use clearly structured data on the local site, like a page that Google can clearly understand is a menu for a restaurant, clearly labelled opening times, and schema code for the location.
Need Help Promoting Your Business in Google Maps?
If you own a local business and are struggling to get found by your local customers, Blue Square Management can help not only improve your Google Maps ranking, but help you business appear on Page 1 of Google for the products or services you provide locally.